Google CEO Sundar Pichai is in India and he means business. On Wednesday, Pichai announced Digital Unlocked, a plan to help small and medium enterprises in India understand how online market works and go digital. The online training compromises 90 training videos as well as an eight-hour classroom training programme along with FICCI.
“When I was growing up in Chennai information was scarce. But now that has changed, thanks to the Internet,” said Pichai. Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present at the Google event. Prasad urged Google to take up cyber-security and strengthen that area as well.
“The Internet is a powerful equalizer and we are motivated to bring the benefits of information and technology to as many people as possible. Building for everyone and making it available in the hands of as many people is at the heart and core of what we do. And we do this by investing in open ecosystems,” he later added.
SMEs will need to register on the Digital Unlocked website. Google had a workshop going on for businesses at the event itself and plans to certify 100 businesses by end of the day. Based on a KPMG report, Google claims that 68% of India’s 5.1 crore small and medium businesses are still offline and Google wants to cash-in on it.
There will be an app as well, called Primer, available on iOS and Android in Hindi and English. Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions are being developed.
Over the next three years, Google will also conduct around 5,000 workshops across 40 Indian cities to help promote the Digital Unlocked program for Indian businesses.
The IIT-K passout is really keen on investing in India. Seven Indian startups recently joined the third batch of Google Launchpad Accelerator, a platform which brings together mentors and experts from Google and other companies to help startups develop. Over the last one year, 13 Indian startups have participated in the programme and some of them have successfully raised funding.
His Indian tour has been quite fruitful till now and now he is headed to his alma mater for a talk which will be watched keenly by all technocrats. Stay tuned for more updates!
Title image: thetechindia